Moisey Ostrogorsky

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Moisey Ostrogorsky
Ostrogorski.jpg
Born 1854
Grodno Governorate
Died February 10, 1921(1921-02-10)
Petrograd
Nationality Belarusian

Moisey Yakovlevich Ostrogorsky (also Ostrogorski; Russian: Моисе́й Я́ковлевич Острого́рский; Belarusian: Майсе́й Я́каўлевiч Aстрaго́рскi; Grodno Governorate, Russian Empire, 1854 – Petrograd, USSR, February 10, 1921) was a Belarusian political scientist, historian, jurist and sociologist. Along with Max Weber and Robert Michels, he is considered one of the founders of political sociology, especially in the field of theories about Party Systems and political parties.[1] As Ostrogorsky noted, loyalty to parties is often comparable to loyalty to one's religion. He was a member of the First State Duma of the Russian Empire in 1906-1907.

Biography[edit]

Moisey Ostrogorsky, or Moisei Ostrogorski, studied law at Saint Petersburg State University and worked for the Russian justice ministry. In the 1880s, he went to Paris and studied at the École Libre des Sciences Politiques, where he wrote his dissertation Les origines du suffrage universel (The origins of universal suffrage) (1885). Whilst in France, Ostrogorsky imbibed French political thought, which was distrustful of an all-powerful state, from thinkers such as Comte, Durkheim, Tocqueville, Saint Simon and Proudhon.[2]

He traveled to the United States and Great Britain. In 1902, he published Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties[3] (originally in French), which compared the political system of the two nations. After returning to Russia in 1906, he became the Duma representative for the Grodno province. He left politics after the Duma was dissolved during the Russian Revolution.

As a political thinker, he was recognized in the West before Russia. Ostrogorsky has been quite influential on the political thought of the 20th century.

After leaving politics, he taught at the Psychoneurological Institute in St. Petersburg.

Work on political science[edit]

Ostrogorsky's main work is La democratie et l'organisation des partis politiques.[4] He noted behavioural determinism in organisational structure: "As soon as a party, even if created for the noblest object perpetuates itself, it tends to degeneration", which influenced "the later researches of Max Weber, Robert Michels, and Andre Siegfried".[5]

Ostrogorsky is also the author of a book that is about the equality of the sexes: La Femme au point de vue du droit public.[6]

Works[edit]

As a lawyer:

  • The Legal Calendar (1876).
  • The Cassation Practice for a Year (1881).

As a historian:

  • Chronology of Russian History (1872).
  • Chronology of General and Russian History (1873).
  • Brief Chronology of General and Russian History (1873).
  • History of Russia for National Schools (1891).
  • The Textbook of Russian History for III Class of Grammar Schools (1891).

As a political scientist:

Articles:

Further reading[edit]

  • Barker, Rodney and Howard-Johnston, Xenia. "The Politics and Political Ideas of Moisei Ostrogorski," Political Studies, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 415–429.
  • Laffond, Gilbert and Lainé, Jean. "Condorcet Choice and the Ostrogorski Paradox," Social Choice and Welfare, Vol. 32, No. 2, February 2009.
  • Lipset, S. M. "Introduction: Ostrogorski and the Analytical Approach to the Comparative Study of Political Parties." In M. Ostrogorski, Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties, 2 Vol., (1964; 1982 ed.).
  • Nermuth, Manfred. "Two-Stage Discrete Aggregation: the Ostrogorski Paradox and Related Phenomena," Social Choice and Welfare, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1992.
  • Pombeni, Paolo. "Starting in Reason, Ending in Passion. Bryce, Lowell, Ostrogorski and the Problem of Democracy," The Historical Journal, Vol. 37, No. 2, Jun., 1994.
  • Ranney, Austin. "M. I. Ostrogorski." In The Doctrine of Responsible Party Government: its Origins and Present State, Chap. VII, University of Illinois Press, 1962.
  • Shelley, Fred M. "Notes on Ostrogorski's Paradox," Theory and Decision, Volume 17, Issue 3 November 1994.
  • Thorne, W. H. "Half-Soling the Nations," The Globe, Vol. XIII, 1903.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lipset (1982)
  2. ^ (Lipset, S.M. (1960). Political Man. Garden City, New York. p22)
  3. ^ "The Party System: Ostrogorski's Work on Democracy and Political Organization," The New York Times, December 27, 1902.
  4. ^ (Paris, 1903; the English edition, London, 1903; vol, 2 appeared as Democracy and the Party System in the United States, New York, 1910; the new advanced edition of all works under the title La democratie et les partis politiques, "Democracy and Political Parties", Paris, 1912)
  5. ^ (Scheider, Theodor. (1962). The State and Society in Modern Times. London, England: Thomas Nelson and Sons, p84.) Ostrogorsky is one of the few scholars referenced by Max Weber in his classic lecture "Politics as Vocation."
  6. ^ (Paris, 1892, 2 English edition, London, 1908; German translation, Leipzig, 1897, the Polish translation, Warsaw, 1898)

External links[edit]